By Jon Platt
Taylor Swift’s style is continually new, independent and, yet, completely predictable.
This time, there’s no teardrop on her guitar. Love’s no longer red. And 24 seems much different than 22 for her. But, with the release of Swift’s latest album, it is she who we now know is trouble.
In typical fashion, the artist’s new release is causing waves within the music industry. Just two weeks ago, Billboard anticipated Swift’s “1989” (Big Machine) would sell 750,000 copies in the first week, but they later changed that prediction to 800,000 and then 900,000. However, the pop sensation is currently projected to sell 1.2 million albums by Monday.
Should Swift break the threshold of 1 million records in one week of sales, not only will she be the first platinum selling artist of 2014, but she will also be the first artist in history to release three platinum albums.
As more and more attention builds around “1989,” music critics are learning one thing: never doubt the T. Swift.
Not only does this LP mark several milestones for the artist – her fifth studio release and possibly her third to go platinum – it also ushers in a completely different sound for the famed country singer.
She’s country no more.
This album marks the first record Swift has produced in which she has not written exclusively country tunes or remixed popish songs for country radio play.
Swift has moved on from her Nashville phase and is embracing the fast-pace feel of her new home – New York City, possibly the “big ol’ city” she told us four years ago she’d someday be living in on “Mean.” An evolution of Swift is evident from the first beat of “1989,” which begins with her anthem to the Big Apple, “Welcome to New York.”
Like many great artist, Swift’s music has progressed with her age. At 14, Swift’s country-styled love songs and curly hair were understandably the music a 14-year-old listens to. But, at 24, her music is that of a young woman with a new perspective and a new home.
Elvis’ music evolved in much of the same way – from country to his definitive rock-n-roll style.
The album’s prominently different tone began with a disclaimer, when nine weeks ago Swift released “Shake It Off.” This single immediately went viral, taking the country by storm.
Her mega-success song carried a message: a new Taylor is coming and she’s not concern with the hater’s or the player’s words. She’s just gonna shake them off.
Swift’s music still revolves around love, but it is notably much more broad. And also much more risqué.
“He’s so tall and handsome as hell. He’s so bad but he does it so well,” Swift sings in “Wildest Dreams,” which is basically about a one night stand – something the virtuous Taylor of yesteryear would never expose in song.
Growing up is certainly the gigantic, elephant-sized, over-arching theme of “1989.” It’s something she’s doing and something her fan base is doing with her – another unique aspect of Swift’s music career.
Swift’s lyrics aren’t the only thing with an extremely modern obsession. Her beat, rhythm and song structures also incorporate very progressive patterns. Each song carries a different arrangement, and it seems that there is a harkening back to ’80s pop.
The only song to feature the singer’s traditional acoustic guitar, “How You Get The Girl,” only incorporates this signature sound in small sections.
“Without a doubt, this is the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Swift during the interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts.
And I agree. The “new” Taylor feels more natural and reflective of whom we see on camera and hear in interviews.
Swift has discovered whom she is and now her music is finally getting to show it.